Tourist offered a lion's head at Victoria Falls, police lure syndicate into trap

A lioness was illegally hunted in a Zimbabwean game park on November 3 2019 and a poaching syndicate was found with the big cat's head and skin in Victoria Falls this week.
A lioness was illegally hunted in a Zimbabwean game park on November 3 2019 and a poaching syndicate was found with the big cat's head and skin in Victoria Falls this week.
Image: Gallo Images

Zimbabwean authorities have intercepted a poaching syndicate which was trying to sell a lion’s head to a tourist in Victoria Falls.

Game ranger Kissmore Munsaka, 32, nurses Munashe Murimisa, 32, and Buuya Sikuka, 48, as well as Mascot Muvari, 35, a policeman, soldier Anymore Sikuka, 37, and Victoria Falls resident Verster Chimidzi, 43, were arrested on Monday by Criminal Investigation Department police officers.

The CID received advance information about the crew’s search for a buyer in the resort town.

Using a tourist, a trap was set and the sellers agreed to meet their potential buyer outside a supermarket.

When police rounded them up, the suspects were found in possession of a lion’s head and skin without a hunting permit.

Investigations revealed the lion they killed had been illegally hunted on November 3 in a safari area which is strictly a game-viewing zone.

They are set to appear in court on Wednesday, each on three charges under the Parks and Wildlife Act, including a section that stipulates “no person shall sell any animal or any part of animal which has been hunted in or has died in or has been removed from a safari area”.

A second charge is that of removing an animal or part of it from a safari area. The final charge is that of hunting in a safari area.


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